It is to easy to get sucked into it. The hard part is to realize how small this environment is, dettach yourself and see the big picture, without looking down on people. Just being with them but observing from afar. With them and close to them and at the same time far away.
I mean sometimes I look at them, not with pity, and think, for them, this is as far as their horizon stretches. So when they are one of the top students: they’ve done it. They’ve reached the “ultimate”- the borders of the circle. For them, the circle is magnified as a globe. But for me, this circle is just another limited circle. I’m outside the circle in so many ways.
I don’t blame them. I easily get sucked in sometimes too. Take grades, as my prime example. I easily get sucked in, I want that grade. My stomach churns over the answer I knew-but why? Why did I change it? I KNEW it. But I’m trying to rise above that. I want to aim for that perfect grade, but I hate this becoming materialistic over grades. It really is so material. Material too me is anything to which we ascribe value that without our deciding its valuable means nothing. Imagine if nobody had ever decided that gold was valuable, then it really has no innate value. And money, in another world, is just paper. But some concepts: independence, faith, love- they have innate value. They are not material. But exams, grades, if we choose not to care, if we choose to see them for their true value, they are not more or less than what we, society, ascribe to them. Knowledge, on the other hand, like independence, cannot be risen above- its value speaks for itself. That’s why when we say “the most important thing is that you understand the material”, it is more than just a pitiful pat on the back. It is a philosophical truth.
This “ultimate” of theirs- when I examine its parts- not to try to defend myself or make excuses- but it is not of great caliber really or supreme at all. Why sweat over questions that are faulty to begin with? The doctors think their questions are so great. Think they decide who is a good student and who is sharp and who is not. And for some reason, we fall for it. We hand them that authority. But really, and not look down on them, but they too have become sucked in their own false belief that their horizon is the farthest, their pinnacle the highest. But no, I’ve been around the world too much to know that this is a small microenvironement, barely representative of anything worth caring for. They are like many ants, and not in an undermining way, and this is their anthill. I chose to be the eagle who soars above the whole landscape.
I’m not giving up, but from now on I’m going to see things differently-as they are. I will still aim for a perfect grade everytime, but what should matter to me is not the 30 or the 23, it’s did I understand, did I persevere or not. Because the former is of a relative, ascribed value and the latter is of a universal, undeniable caliber.
Egypt, Feb 11, had a big role in helping me see this, realize the greatness of core value, help me once again see how far this Earth stretches. The fact that I travel so much also helps. So many of my petty worries seem to fall in the Atlantic Ocean back and forth, that I’m forced to see the big picture.
And that’s why I’ve decided to let this black hole suck as hard as it wishes, but to stay nonchalant on my own planet, admiring the universe in its greatness, its vastness, and its true beauty. It’s like this is their world, their entire world, but then you compare the Earth’s size, which is already more massive than we can imagine, to the Sun. And you realize how many times the Earth can fit into the Sun and your perspective is altered entirely. Then you take our Sun, that big, ball of fire (plasma, actually) and compare it to the greater, much, much larger stars of the universe and again your perspective is altered. Then you realize that even stars have long been put out, and not only is your perspective altered, it is expanded.
Then you look at the universe as a whole. As a sum of its parts. And you gasp.
How materialistic, how narrow-minded, how deceived we have been. And for how long.